November 11, 2009
Jan. 6, 2004 - AOPA has filed a formal complaint with the FAA over limitations on aircraft operations that the city of Pompano Beach, Fla., has imposed on pilots at Pompano Airpark (PMP). Among other things, the restrictions are an attempt to limit flight training.
"AOPA has endeavored, both informally and formally, to resolve the issue, but the city council decided to go ahead with the restrictions and 'see what the FAA will do,'" said AOPA Vice President of Airports Bill Dunn. "In the face of such intransigence, AOPA had no choice but to defend the airport and pilots who operate there by filing a formal complaint."
The federal government deeded what became Pompano Airpark to the city as war surplus following World War II. Part of the deal was that the city must use the land as an airport without undue restrictions or unjust discrimination, or the federal government could take back the land.
Since 1995, the city has prohibited all stop-and-go activities at the airport; restricted touch-and-go operations to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday - Friday and banned all touch-and-goes on the weekend or legal holidays; prohibited intersection take-offs; banned prolonged running of aircraft engines between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.; and prohibited manned glider operations. Now the city council has adopted an even more restrictive ordinance that also restricts taxi-back operations to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday - Friday with no taxi-backs permitted on weekends or legal holidays, and includes rotorcraft in the prohibitions and restrictions on aircraft.
AOPA's formal complaint points out that all such operations are normal and necessary aircraft operations which are routinely conducted at other airports similar to Pompano Airpark.
"The restricting and prohibiting of these normal and necessary aircraft operations at the Airpark is unreasonable, arbitrary, unjustly discriminatory, and otherwise in violation of the deed restrictions," reads the AOPA complaint.
AOPA is calling on the FAA to prohibit the city from enforcing any part of its ordinance, and to take the steps necessary to reclaim the airport from the city.
A new FAA policy on obstructive sleep apnea that addresses many of the concerns raised by AOPA is scheduled to take effect March 2.
AOPA and the National Business Aviation Association have jointly filed an amicus, or friend of the court, brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as part of the ongoing legal battle over the future of Santa Monica Municipal Airport.
AOPA worked with the flight training industry and FAA to quickly resolve a problem that suddenly put many rating applications on hold.
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